Day of the Dead, Dead of the Day

What a stupid kind of weekend. I took Friday off and still don’t feel like it was long enough to have even a moment to myself.

–Halloween party at my house
–Very complicated costume. (Not really. Just pinned H1N1 to my chest and went as the swine flu)
–Cared for a dastardly man cold.
–Entered all this semester’s grades in the finally-functioning grade system.
–Graded crap.
–Identified my failing students for this quarter.
–Watched Casablanca to get up to speed on (past) pop culture.
–Took the gatos to the vet.
–Cuddled kittens to ease the pain of the $275 bill…. yeeeesh.
–Did a lot of anxiety-driven cleaning.
–Made a crapload of sugar skulls for the kids to decorate tomorrow.
–More anxious cleaning.
–Zero grad work; that will all be crammed into the next few evenings.

I have a hard job. Most of the time it is possible only because I have the rest of my crap together. Recently my crap isn’t together. So the everyday things often feel difficult and the difficult things seem impossible.

Last week I talked to a student about behavior, and had to call a parent. The kid cried and said he needed help being good even when others aren’t. He wanted to know exactly what I was going to tell his mom, and cried some more, and then dried his eyes and asked if he could go before I called because it was too scary to sit and wait for the call to be done. I let him go back to his class, and then I cried, too. It’s hard to explain why.

I made another call home for one 8th grade girl who has had a few previous phone calls home. This time I called to tell her mom how proud I am of the changes she has made and the good work she’s been doing. I cried after I hung up that time, too.

There are a lot of things I don’t have control of. I can’t force students to learn what I teach, or treat people right, or make good decisions. I can’t force anyone to feel a certain way, or treat (me) right, or make (any) decisions.

I’m trying to focus on the things I do have control over. Supposedly that’s the thing to do.

Like bedtime. Right now.

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